You are not leading unless you are learning. Leadership and learning are, in the words of JFK, “indispensable to each other.” And if you take learning to the next level by sharing with others, you are accomplishing what I believe is one of the true hallmarks of leadership.
Leading is learning and learning and sharing is leading.
Never. Stop. Learning. No matter what you do in life, live by the motto “Learn something new every day!” I have told that to my children, my nieces and nephews, new employees that I have mentored, colleagues on really good days, colleagues going through a rut, and now I am sharing this with you. But if you are reading this, you likely subscribe to this mantra. Learning is the key that opens up every possibility that we might create and turn into reality. It will also help select the best opportunity that is born out of these possibilities.
But, reader beware…
We all have so much information at our fingertips that many of us believe that we are ‘learning’ everyday…all day long…non-stop. But this information overload may have us all fooled into thinking that we are learning every time we pick up our ‘smart’ phone. Learning takes focus. We are hardly focused each time we reflexively grab our phone every 6.3 minutes. Now, I am not saying that you can’t be focused while reading some great stuff on your smartphone. You are likely reading this from your smart phone right now (and hopefully you think it’s great). Here are 3 ways, however, that we can slow down and focus as we are learning…and leading:
- Timing is everything: do not be tempted to bury your head in your phone at a meeting that you are not interested in. You are doing a disservice to your colleagues and unless you are firing off a vital email that you forgot to hit send on, you are not accomplishing much. Your distracted and are likely distracting others. Setup some time during your day to focus on learning. If you think that you do not have time for this, most of us can’t afford not to dedicate some time to learn.
- Content is king: pare down some of the scores of resources that you turn to for learning. Create a list on Twitter of your followers that provide the right information
- Focus: don’t just skim. This is very tempting, and sometimes it is all that is possible. However, begin to try to drill down. Think of some of these great articles and information as just the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper. Some of us do this naturally to quench the thirst for knowledge without even thinking. To others, let this be your catalyst to sparking the fervor for learning.
Another facet of learning is that one should never stop asking questions. Questions offer the path to greatness and those with a large ego often believe questions make you look less intelligent than you are. Contemplating and having the courage to ask the ‘right’ questions with the right direction are an invaluable tool to great things.
Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing. Have a great day and do great things!